U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says America's relationship with China is positive and cooperative, and can be made even more productive. Clinton spoke as President Barack Obama began his first official trip to China.
President Obama's trip comes at a time when China holds massive amounts of U.S. national debt and Washington and Beijing are attempting to work together on thorny issues ranging from climate change to nuclear proliferation.
Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press" program, Secretary of State Clinton said the United States and China have common interests that extend far beyond trade and financial matters. "The Chinese have stood with us in the sanctions against North Korea. The Chinese are part of the P5-plus-1 [multinational] effort to try to engage Iran on its nuclear program. We are seeing signs of a cooperative relationship," she said.
Clinton added that the United States must reign in deficit spending so that it relies less on China to finance is ballooning national debt.
President Obama is in Shanghai, where he is to meet city leaders and university students later Monday. He then travels to Beijing for talks with Chinese leaders that will continue through Wednesday.
President Obama's Asia-Pacific tour comes as his administration continues to weigh its options on the future of America's engagement in Afghanistan. Secretary Clinton says the overriding concern regarding Afghanistan is U.S. national security.
In another U.S. television interview [on ABC], she said Afghan President Hamid Karzai must do more to crack down on corruption if he wants continued civilian aid from Washington. She said she wants Afghan ministries to be held accountable for their use of funds provided by the United States.